Dr Eva Maria Novoa Pardo

Senior Research Officer

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Conjoint Senior Lecturer, St Vincent's Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia
Conjoint HFSP Fellow with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, USA

Eva Maria is a conjoint postdoctoral fellow between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney, Australia) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT (Cambridge, USA). She is currently supervised by Prof John Mattick (Garvan Institute/UNSW), and co-supervised by Prof Manolis Kellis (MIT/Broad).

During her PhD she performed both computational and experimental work, and her research was focused on the characterisation of the translation machinery across species and its applications to drug discovery, finding that a critical factor that explains the differences between codon usage bias across species is the emergence of two domain-specific tRNA modification enzymes (Novoa et al., Cell 2012). In addition, she also designed and screened antimalarials that specifically target the malaria parasite's translation machinery (Novoa et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci 2014), finding positive hits that kill the parasite in vivo, thus curing malaria in infected mice.

Her current work is focused on understanding the diverse mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation, with a special focus on deciphering the roles and interplay of RNA modifications, RNA structure and codon usage bias. For her postdoctoral studies, she has been awarded both an EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship and an HFSP Postdoctoral Fellowship, which she currently holds. 

Research Interests

Post-transcriptional regulation
RNA modifications ("epitranscriptomics")
Genomics and Next-Generation Sequencing
Protein translation
Computational molecular evolution
In-silico and structure-based drug design
Bioinformatics as a tool to understand biological questions

Awards and Honours

2016 - Young Researcher Award, given by Catalan Society of Biology
2014 - Human Frontiers Science Program Organization (HFSP) Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellowship
2013 - EMBO Long Term Postdoctoral Fellowship
2013 - Fisher Scientific Prize for Young Spanish Researchers, given by the Spanish Society of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
2013 - Extraordinary PhD Prize (Graduated with Honors) given by the University of Barcelona
2012 - PhD Cum Laude
2012 - Article of the month (July 2012) awarded by the Spanish Society of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
2008 - LaCaixa-IRB International PhD Program Fellowship
2007 - Extraordinary Bachelor Prize (Graduated with Honours)
2006 - Undergraduate Research Collaboration Fellowship, given by AGAUR


2012 - PhD in Biomedicine, IRB Barcelona-University of Barcelona - Spain
2009 - MSc in Bioinformatics, University Pompeu Fabra - Spain
2007 - BSc in Biochemistry, University of Barcelona - Spain
2004 - BSc in Biology, University of Barcelona - Spain (first cycle)

Selected Publications

Barsacchi M, Novoa EM, Kellis M, Bechini A. SwiSpot: Modeling riboswitches by spotting out switching sequences. Bioinformatics 2016 (advance access: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw401) 

Saint-Leger A, Bello-Cabrera C, Dans PD, Torres AG, Novoa EM, Camacho C, Orozco M, Kondrashov FA and Ribas de Pouplana L. Saturation of recognition elements blocks evolution of new tRNA identities. Science Advances 2016, 2(4):e1501860

The Anopheles Genomes Cluster Consortium. Highly evolvable malaria vectors: the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquitoes. Science 2015, 347(6217):1258522.

Novoa EM, Vargas-Rodriguez O, Lange S, Goto Y, Suga H, Musier-Forsyth K and Ribas de Pouplana, L. Ancestral AlaX editing enzymes for control of genetic code fidelity are not tRNA specific. J Biol Chem 2015. pii: jbc.M115.640060

Novoa EM* and Ribas de Pouplana L*. Cooperation for better inhibiting. Chem & Biol  2015, 22: 685-686. (*co-corresponding authors)

Liu Z, Vargas-Rodriguez O, Goto Y, Novoa EM, Ribas de Pouplana L, Suga H and Musier-Forsyth. K. Homologous trans-editing factors with broad tRNA specificity prevent mistranslation caused by serine/threonine misactivation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2015, 112(19):6027-6032.

Novoa EM, Camacho C, Tor A, Wilkinson B, Moss S, Marin-Garcia P, Azcarate IG, Bautista JM, Mirando AC, Francklyn C, Varon S, Royo M, Cortés A, Ribas de Pouplana L.  Analogs of natural aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitors clear malaria in vivo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2014, 111(51):5508-17.

Hoen R*, Novoa EM*, López A, Camacho C, Martin P, Bautista JM, Vieira P, Santos M, Cortés A, Royo M, Ribas de Pouplana L.  Selective inhibition of the apicoplastic lysyl-tRNA synthetase of Plasmodium falciparumChemBioChem, 2013, 14: 499-509. * equal contribution.

Novoa EM, Pavon-Eternod M, Pan T and Ribas de Pouplana L.  A role for tRNA modifications in genome structure and codon usage.  Cell  2012, 149: 202-213.

Novoa EM and Ribas de Pouplana L. Speeding with control: codon usage, tRNAs and ribosomes.  Trends Genet. 2012, 28(11):574-581.

Novoa EM, Ribas de Pouplana L and Orozco M.  Small molecule docking from theoretical structural models.  In: "Computational Modeling of Biological Systems: From Molecules to Pathways". Ed. Springer, New York (USA); Vol 4, pp 75-96.

Novoa EM, Ribas de Pouplana L, Barril X, and Orozco M.  Ensemble docking in homology models.  J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2010, 6 (8): 2547-2557. 

Novoa EM, Castro de Moura M, Orozco M and Ribas de Pouplana L. A genomics method to identify pathogenicity-related proteins. Application to aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase-like proteins. FEBS Lett 2010, 584(2): 460-6.

Dr Eva Maria Novoa Pardo

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